'Traumatised' NHS staff forced to use sheets after body bags 'run out'
"Porters know operating without body bags and flimsy PPE puts them and their families at increased risk of contracting this deadly virus", says GMB Union
‘Traumatised’ GMB members working in Epsom and St Helier NHS have been told to use sheets to transport deceased patients because body bags have ‘run out’.
Porters are inundated with bodies, which are now wrapped in sheets and are being backed up awaiting collection as the mortuary ‘is overflowing’.
The porters - who have been waiting months to get an ‘insulting’ 5p an hour pay rise - from the trust are left with just a flimsy plastic apron, disposable gloves and a flimsy mask as they rush around the hospital doing the difficult and highly distressing work of moving ever increasing numbers of deceased patients.
The scenes they are witnessing on a daily basis leave them ‘distressed and anxious’ and they are increasingly concerned about contracting the virus themselves.
They are also worried that safety standards are slipping down in the trust as the death toll mounts
Helen O’Connor, GMB Organiser, said:
“We are extremely concerned about the psychological and physical wellbeing of our hospital members who are traumatised and struggling to cope with the impact of this pandemic.
“They are on the frontline doing the type of work that would distress anyone and increasingly dealing with death.
“They know that operating without body bags and flimsy PPE puts them and their families at increased risk of contracting this deadly virus.
“We call on Epsom and St Helier trust to take urgent measures to safeguard the health, safety and wellbeing of these key workers during this crisis.”
Media enquiries: GMB Press Office on 07958 156846 or at firstname.lastname@example.org